Σήμερα κλείνει ένας κύκλος 40 ετών. Ο Bernie Ecclestone, ο άνθρωπος που σημάδεψε όσο κανείς άλλος το όνομά τους με την Formula 1 αποτελεί πλέον παρελθόν από αυτή. Από το πρωί κυκλοφορούσαν φήμες περί αποχώρησης του εντός της εβδομάδας, αλλά ο 86-χρονος προέβη στις επίσημες ανακοινώσεις σήμερα.
Η Liberty Media, η νέα ιδιοκτήτρια της F1 που ολοκλήρωσε την εξαγορά ύψους 8 δισ. δολαρίων, αντικατέστησε τον Ecclestone με τον Chase Carey, με τον Βρετανό να μην αποδέχεται την τιμητική θέση του “Επίτιμου Προέδρου” της F1 που του προτάθηκε. Ο γερό-Bernie είπε:
Έφυγα σήμερα από την F1. Αυτό είναι επίσημο. Δεν τρέχω εγώ πλέον την F1. Την θέση μου την ανέλαβε ο Chase Carey. Δεν αποδέχτηκα την θέση του Επίτιμου Προέδρου επειδή δεν ξέρω ποιος θα είναι ο ρόλος της θέσης αυτής.
Εξακολουθώ να έχω πολλούς φίλους στη Formula 1. Επιπλέον, έχω αρκετά χρήματα για να αγοράσω ένα εισιτήριο. Δεν θα διατηρήσω την θέση μου στο Παγκόσμιο Συμβούλιο Μηχανοκίνητου Αθλητισμού.
Ο Carey, εκτός από CEO, αναλαμβάνει και την θέση του Προέδρου της F1, με τον Sean Bratches, πρώην στέλεχος του τηλεοπτικού δικτύου ESPN να αναλαμβάνει το εμπορικό κομμάτι της F1, συμπεριλαμβανομένου των χορηγιών, του τμήματος μάρκετινγκ αλλά και των δικαιωμάτων των μέσων ενημέρωσης.
Τέλος, ο Ross Brawn, αναλαμβάνει τον ρόλο του managing director, που τον κάνει αρμόδιο για τις σχέσεις με τις ομάδες από την αθλητική και την τεχνική πλευρά.
Η Liberty Media είπε πως η θέση του Επίτιμου Προέδρου που πρότεινε στον Ecclestone είναι μια θέση που θα λειτουργούσε ως σύμβουλος στο διοικητικό συμβούλιο της F1.
Liberty completes F1 acquisition
Liberty Media Corporation and Delta Topco, the parent company of Formula 1 announced today that Liberty Media has completed its previously announced acquisition of F1, the iconic global motorsports business, from a consortium of sellers. F1 has appointed Chase Carey as Chief Executive Officer of F1, in addition to his existing role as Chairman, and Bernie Ecclestone as Chairman Emeritus of F1. Bernie Ecclestone, who has given valuable service to F1 over many years, will be available as a source of advice for the board of F1.
Greg Maffei, President and CEO of Liberty Media Corporation, commented:
“We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of F1 and that Chase will lead this business as CEO. There is an enormous opportunity to grow the sport, and we have every confidence that Chase, with his abilities and experience, is the right person to achieve this. I’d like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, who becomes Chairman Emeritus, for his tremendous success in building this remarkable global sport.”
Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of F1, said:
“I am excited to be taking on the additional role of CEO. F1 has huge potential with multiple untapped opportunities. I have enjoyed hearing from the fans, teams, FIA, promoters and sponsors on their ideas and hopes for the sport. We will work with all of these partners to enhance the racing experience and add new dimensions to the sport and we look forward to sharing these plans overtime.
“I would like to recognise and thank Bernie for his leadership over the decades. The sport is what it is today because of him and the talented team of executives he has led, and he will always be part of the F1 family. Bernie’s role as Chairman Emeritus befits his tremendous contribution to the sport and I am grateful for his continued insight and guidance as we build F1 for long-term success and the enjoyment of all those involved.”
Bernie Ecclestone, Chairman Emeritus of F1, added:
“I’m proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula 1, and would like to thank all of the promoters, teams, sponsors and television companies that I have worked with. I’m very pleased that the business has been acquired by Liberty and that it intends to invest in the future of F1. I am sure that Chase will execute his role in a way that will benefit the sport.”
The consideration for Liberty Media’s acquisition of 100% of the shares of F1(1) was comprised of cash and newly issued Series C shares of the Liberty Media Group tracking stock (“LMCK”) and a debt instrument exchangeable into shares of LMCK. The transaction price represents an enterprise value for F1 of $8.0 billion and an equity value of $4.4 billion(2).
With the completion of the acquisition, the Liberty Media Group will shortly be renamed the Formula One Group and the ticker symbols for the Series A, Series B and Series C Liberty Media Group tracking stocks will be changed from LMC (A/B/K), respectively, to FWON (A/B/K), respectively, soon after the group name change has become effective. Liberty Media expects the group name change and the symbol change to occur later this week. F1 will remain based in London and Greg Maffei will be Deputy Chair of the board of F1.
The Selling Shareholders received a mix of consideration comprising: $3.05 billion in cash, approximately 56 million newly issued shares of LMCK and a $351 million exchangeable debt instrument to be issued by F1 and exchangeable into shares of LMCK. The cash component of the acquisition was funded from cash on hand at the Liberty Media Group. The newly issued LMCK shares are subject to market co-ordination and lock-up agreements.
F1, along with $4.1 billion of existing F1 debt (which is non-recourse to Liberty Media) and $0.7 billion in F1 cash(3), is attributed to the Liberty Media Group tracking stock.
Concurrently with the consummation of the acquisition, certain third party investors subscribed for $1.55 billion of newly issued shares of LMCK at a price of $25.00 per share. The proceeds from this investment were used to increase the cash portion of the aggregate consideration payable to the Selling Shareholders. The third parties are Coatue Management, L.L.C., D. E. Shaw Group, JANA Partners LLC, Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc., Soroban Capital Partners LP, SPO Advisory Corp., and Viking Global Investors LP (collectively the “Third Party Investors”).
Also concurrently with the completion of the acquisition, Liberty Media used the net proceeds of its previously announced cash convertible senior notes offering to increase the cash consideration payable to the Selling Shareholders by approximately $400 million for total cash consideration of $3.05 billion and retain in treasury the approximately 19 million shares that would otherwise have been issuable to the Selling Shareholders based on the per share purchase price of $21.26. These LMCK shares will be reserved by Liberty for possible sale to the F1 teams. To the extent such shares are not sold to F1 teams within six months following the closing of the F1 acquisition, the shares will be retired.
The aggregate number of LMCK shares issued at the F1 closing was allocated as follows: approximately 56 million to the Selling Shareholders, 62 million to the third party investors and approximately 19 million into treasury. Following the completion of the acquisition, there are approximately 217 million shares of LMCK common stock outstanding (pro-forma for the dilutive impact of the $351 million LMCK exchangeable security and excluding the aforementioned approximate 19 million shares retained in treasury). Following the completion of the F1 acquisition and the issuance of shares to the Third Party Investors (excluding the potential issuance of those shares retained in treasury), the Third Party Investors in the aggregate own approximately 29%(4) of the Liberty Media Group’s outstanding equity and the Selling Shareholders own approximately 33%(4) of the Liberty Media Group’s outstanding equity and have board representation at F1 to support Liberty Media in continuing to develop the full potential of the sport.
Liberty Media’s President and CEO, Greg Maffei and Formula 1’s Chairman and CEO, Chase Carey will be appearing on the CNBC television program “Squawk Box” from 7:00 am ET to 9:00 am ET on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 to discuss the completion of the acquisition in more detail. During their appearance, Mr. Maffei and Mr. Carey may make observations regarding Liberty Media’s and Formula 1’s financial performance and outlook and the impact of current economic trends.
(1) Other than a nominal number of shares held by certain Formula 1 teams. (2) Calculated at time of transaction announcement. (3) Formula 1 cash and debt balances as of 7/31/2016. (4) Calculated based on the undiluted share count as of 12/31/2016 and inclusive of the dilutive impact of the $351 million Exchangeable Notes.
Ross Brawn Joins Formula 1 as Managing Director, Motor Sports; Sean Bratches Joins as Managing Director, Commercial Operations
LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula 1, today announced the appointments in newly created roles of Ross Brawn as Managing Director, Motor Sports, and Sean Bratches as Managing Director, Commercial Operations. These appointments are effective immediately in conjunction with the completion of Liberty Media’s acquisition of Formula 1 announced earlier today.
Ross Brawn is one of the most successful and innovative Technical Directors in Formula 1 history. A Formula 1 legend with a 40 year engineering and management career in motor racing, he has won 22 World FIA Championships and the Le Mans 24 Hours. His honours include 11 world titles with Ferrari and seven as part of Williams and Benetton. He went on to win the 2009 F1 World Drivers and Constructors’ Championships with his own BrawnGP team, the Honda F1 team he rescued and renamed. Ross sold the team to Mercedes-Benz in 2010 and, over three years, laid the foundation that enabled the team to win the 2014, 2015 and 2016 World Titles.
Sean Bratches is credited as one of ESPN’s most influential leaders, with over 27 years of experience, most recently as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. His career has been defined by innovation and vision, and his contributions helped to fuel tremendous growth in ESPN’s brand and revenue. Sean oversaw ESPN’s two primary revenue streams, advertising and sponsor sales and content licensing, as well as the research and analytics, marketing, consumer products and events marketing divisions.
He led a sales and marketing team that provided national advertisers access to ESPN’s premier media and marketing platforms and oversaw all content licensing for the domestic cable and satellite networks of The Walt Disney Company to its linear and emerging multi-channel affiliates. These assets included: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN SEC Network, The Longhorn Network and ESPN3. He also was responsible for the distribution of related HDTV, broadband, video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand, interactive television, pay-per-view, Spanish-language, and sports syndication products.
Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO, commented:
“I am delighted to welcome Ross back to Formula 1. In his 40 years in the sport, he’s brought his magic touch to every team with which he has worked, has almost unparalleled technical knowledge, experience and relationships, and I have already benefitted greatly from his advice and expertise.
“I am thrilled Sean is joining Formula 1. Sean was a driving force in building ESPN into one of the world’s leading sports franchises. His expertise and experience in sales, marketing, digital media, and distribution will be invaluable as we grow Formula 1.
“I look forward to working with Ross and Sean, as well as key current executives including Duncan Llowarch, our CFO, and Sacha Woodward Hill, our General Counsel, the FIA, Bernie and Liberty as we work together to make Formula 1 the best it can be for the teams, promoters and fans for years to come.”
Ross Brawn said:
“It’s fantastic to be returning to the world of Formula 1. I’ve enjoyed consulting with Liberty Media these last few months and I’m looking forward to working with Chase, Sean and the rest of the Formula 1 Team to help the evolution of the sport. We have an almost unprecedented opportunity to work together with the teams and promoters for a better F1 for them and, most importantly, for the fans.”
Sean Bratches added:
“I’m very excited to be joining Formula 1 and contribute to the continued growth of this extraordinary global brand and sport. Formula 1 is one of few truly global tier one sports, and I am encouraged by the manifold opportunities to materially grow the business, work closely with current and future sponsors, race circuits, television rights holders as well as create next generation digital and on-site race experiences to best serve the Formula 1 fans.”
About Formula 1
Formula 1®, which began in 1950, is the world’s most prestigious motor racing competition and is the world’s most popular annual sporting series. In 2016 it was watched by 400 million unique television viewers from over 200 territories. The 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship™ ran from March to November and spanned 21 races in 21 countries across five continents. Formula One World Championship Limited is part of Formula 1, and holds the exclusive commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship™.
Formula 1 is a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LSXMA, LSXMB, LSXMK, BATRA, BATRK, LMCA, LMCK) attributed to the Liberty Media Group tracking stock. With the completion of the acquisition of Formula 1 announced today, Liberty Media announced that the Liberty Media Group will shortly be renamed the Formula One Group and the ticker symbols for the Series A, Series B and Series C Liberty Media Group tracking stocks are expected to be changed from LMC (A/B/K), respectively, to FWON (A/B/K), respectively.